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How To Format Your Book Using Microsoft Word on a Mac

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This article originally appeared on BookBaby.com

Here are instructions on how to format your book using Microsoft Word on a Mac. Interior templates are also available on bookbaby.com/templates, where you can download a template for your book’s specific measurements.

US Trade

For a 6″x9″ book, start by changing the paper size and the margins to match the dimensions of a US Trade, 6″ x 9″ book (these instructions are applicable to whatever book trim size you choose).

Start by double-clicking on the ruler at the top of your document and bring up the document formatting window. Click on the “Margins” tab, then the “Page Setup” button. Click on “Paper Size,” then “Manage Custom Sizes.”

Make a new dimension by clicking on the “plus” button, and name it “US Trade.”

The paper size is actually going to be 6.25″ x 9.25″ to accommodate for the image bleed that Microsoft Word does not take into consideration. Image bleed allows images or colors to go to the edge of a page. When you print a book using commercial presses, it is essential to include this extra space beyond the trim line. (For more information, watch our “Image Bleed” tutorial.)

Once it’s set to 6.25″ x 9.25″, adjust the margins. For the top and bottom, set it to 0.44 inches and click “OK.” For the left and right, set it to one inch. You can increase gutter in the middle if you’d like to have a larger space running down where your book is bound.

Make your header and footer 0.5″ or 0.44” to match the top and bottom print margins.

Check “mirror margins” to set your book up like a printed book spread.

Chapters

Next, click the “Layout” tab.

If you would like your chapters to all start on a right-hand page, set each chapter as a new section break, and set those new sections to start on an odd page.

For headers and footers, select the “different odd and even” option if you want to have an author name on one side and the title of the book or chapter name on the other side. Select “different first page” if you don’t want to have your headers at the beginning of each chapter.

Now click “OK” to apply the changes to the whole document.

The page size is now set to U.S. Trade 6″ x 9″ as opposed to the 8.5″ by 11″ you probably started out with.

Basic formatting

Let’s continue with some basic formatting. Turn on “show all non-printing characters” to help you identify what type of breaks you are using.

Assuming you have the text of your book and your chapters defined, you will want to include a title page and a copyright page for the year of publication.

Do not hit the enter button several times to create a new page. Instead, go to “Insert > Break > PageBreak” to define a break in the page.

Now, you can design a title page. Type in your book title and increase the font size. Bring it down to about the middle of your first page.

This will print as our right-side title page when you first open your printed book. (For more information on how a printed book is laid out, please watch our “Book Pagination” tutorial.)

Now, add your copyright information to be on the backside of that title page. That will be on page two, so insert another page break.

Include the publication year and anything else you would like to list. Copyright information is typically down at the bottom of the page.

Next, insert a “Section break” (we recommend the “next odd page”), then highlight the chapter text. Click on the formatting style in the formatting palette or at the top of your document and select “Heading.” Now this will be defined as a “Chapter Heading.”

Go ahead and find where you designated chapter 2 and repeat the same instructions as before: insert a “section break odd page” and mark the chapter text as a “Heading.”

Table of Contents and more

After your Copyright page, insert a “section break.” Then, go to the “Insert” dropdown, select “Table of Contents,” pick a style, and insert it. Now you’ll see a “Table of Contents” list with page numbers.

Next, to set your footers, double-click in the area below your text. You’ll see they’re defined as odd and even page footers. Go to “Insert Page Numbers.” Choose to have them all align to the “Outside” or “Centered.” If you have them all aligned to the same side, half of them are will face the gutter and inside of your book. If you have them on the “Inside,” they are ALL going to be on your gutter side.

You can choose whether or not to “Show numbers on the first page” by clicking or unclicking the appropriate box.

Next, double-click above your text to insert a header. If you chose earlier to set it up as different odd and even headers, you can put the “Author Name” on one side and the title of the book on the other.

Go to your “Basic Paragraph” style. After you change your page size from “US Letter” down to US Trade, you might find that your text is too large. Instead of 12 point font, we recommend size 10 or 11. You also might want to decrease or increase the space between your lines. You can set it “single” if you want it to be tight or “double” if you like a lot of space in-between. We recommend 1.5 for a happy medium.

Next is your text alignment: left-align, center-align, right-align, and justified. A lot of books are designed with justified text, but select what fits best for your book.

Steven Spatz: Breaking down barriers

Steven Spatz, BookBaby President, is typically known for his calm and reasoned demeanor around the office. But that didn’t stop him from wielding a sledgehammer to literally and metaphorically break down barriers for independent authors. Literally, in that we’re expanding our BookBaby office to house our growing team and operation. Metaphorically… well, because BookBaby helps break down the barriers for writers to become self-published authors. But you already knew that.


See more how-to videos at the BookBaby YouTube channel.

If you have any other questions, be sure to send us an email at support@bookbaby.com and we’ll get back to you!

This post was excerpted and adapted from How to Format Your Book Using Microsoft Word on a Mac.

About BookBaby

Based in the Philadelphia-area, BookBaby is a team of authors, poets, bloggers, and artists — so they know the thrills and challenges of bringing a book into this world.

Since 2011, BookBaby has helped thousands realize their publishing goals by offering the largest eBook distribution network, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers in over 170 countries around the globe.

Learn more at www.BookBaby.com.

 

 


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Book Formatting and Cover Design Make Your Manuscript… a Book

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This article originally appeared on BookBaby.com

Excerpted from BookBaby’s latest guide, 5 Steps To Self Publishing, Part II of our series addresses your book cover design and how book formatting makes your book… a book.

Download your free copy today!

You can create a beautiful book, inside and out. Once you’re finished with your content, you need to make sure your book looks as good as it reads.

The cover is a make-or-break sales tool for your book

The average online book buyer will spend less than a second scanning a single cover image during the average browsing session. How will your book stand up to this near instant “yes” or “no” buying decision?

Book covers aren’t just important to authors in hopes of gaining sales. They’re important to readers, too! According to Deloitte’s research paper, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions 2015, “A key value of print books appears to be their cover. Covers have been shown to drive sales; but they also send a message to those around you about what you are reading and what kind of person you are. As has been noted, ‘the act of reading a book in public conveys important information to other readers.’”

A great cover design can also speak to fans of a genre and tell a little (or a lot) about the style of writing and the genre your book fits into. Here’s a gallery of some of the standout book covers designed by the professionals in the BookBaby Design Studio.

Selling your book starts with an eye-catching design

Many authors believe that your cover is your very best sales tool. We humans are a visual species, stimulated by compelling graphics and imagery. The virtual online bookshelves are crowded, making it all the more important to stand out when it comes to your cover. And that goes for both eBooks and printed books available via Print On Demand. If you captivate readers from the outset – with the outside of your book – they’ll be drawn to find out what’s inside.

Here are three tips suggested by the BookBaby Design Studio for creating an eye-catching cover that sells:

    1. Be unique. It’s important to stand out. If you are choosing images yourself, make sure they are distinctive in their appeal. Take a look around Amazon and check out all of the other covers in your genre and make sure yours is different. Keep to one theme and don’t over-clutter. Think about what the driving message of the book is and use this as the focus of the design.
    2. Be bold, use color. Color increases readers’ attention span by 82% and makes an impression that is 39% more memorable. Strong, contrasting colors are likely to have the most impact and be the most readable.
      book formatting 80x115 thumbnail

      80×115 image

    3. Think about your thumbnail. Online retailers will usually display your book cover as an 80 × 115 pixel thumbnail, so it’s important to make sure your cover design is clear and readable at different resolutions. View your cover image at varying image sizes and make sure it looks good when it’s small.

It’s the little design touches that make a book… a book!

What makes a book a book? It starts with words. Lots of them. Tens of thousands usually. Or pictures. Or both.

Next you have to have a cover and a back cover if it’s a printed book. But beyond that, well, it gets a little hazy. Should we create a Table of Contents or a Title page or The Foreword?

For a book designer like BookBaby’s Becky Rodriguez-Smith, what goes into a book is dozens of different things, large and small, that comprise the finished product. “What we do is turn a double-spaced manuscript, given to us in a Word document, into a real book,” says Becky. “And when I say ‘real book,’ I mean we make it look professional, it can be compared to any other on the shelf of a book store. You can look at it, open it, feel it, and it looks like it was done by a major publishing company.”

That professional look is usually accomplished by a service called book formatting. But what exactly is book formatting? Let’s ask the expert

“Actually it’s hard to explain sometimes to clients what they really get from it, especially brand-new authors,” says Becky. “But once they see the finished product and see the difference in appearance, it’s very easy to understand. It might not seem like much is happening, like applying a different style to chapter heads, designing copyright pages, and maybe running headers and footers. But it’s all those design details that really make a book a book!”

Becky and the other BookBaby designers format the books and then send the author a PDF proof of his or her book for review. This gives the author a chance to make corrections and provide comments to improve the final product. “We’re not formatting in Word or using any kind of template,” explains Becky. “We use design software developed specifically to produce beautiful-looking books.”

“The designers here at BookBaby have been around for a while. This is what we do, and we want authors to trust us to create a beautiful book. We’re not going to put something out there that doesn’t make them look great!”

“We’ve learned over the years and through experience what is going to grab the attention of readers and keep it.”

This post was excerpted and adapted from 5 Steps To Self Publishing: All the essential information you need to go from manuscript to marketplace. Download your free copy today.

Find your way to self-publishing success in just 5 easy steps with this 62-page book. Yours absolutely free.

 

About BookBaby

Based in the Philadelphia-area, BookBaby is a team of authors, poets, bloggers, and artists — so they know the thrills and challenges of bringing a book into this world.

Since 2011, BookBaby has helped thousands realize their publishing goals by offering the largest eBook distribution network, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers in over 170 countries around the globe.

Learn more at www.BookBaby.com.


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